Rugby

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Red Roses confirmed amongst top seeds for 2021 Rugby World Cup

England have been confirmed in the top group of seeds alongside Canada and hosts New Zealand for next year's Rugby World Cup. 

Seedings had to be based on the world rankings as they stood on 1 January due to the lack of international matches since the beginning of March.

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Mike Bovill

Mike Bovill

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The rugby news you need to know – from the Premier 15s and Red Roses to the Six Nations and Rugby World Cup,

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women's rugby, Premier 15s

Allianz Premier 15s review: usual suspects rise to the top

Authored by Mike Bovill

Harlequins, Saracens and Loughborough Lightning maintained their perfect starts to the Allianz Premier 15s season with bonus-point victories in the second round of matches.

Quins in particular seem to be adapting well to the new rules restricting the number of scrums, with front five forwards Shaunagh Brown, Amy Cockayne and Abbie Ward all scoring tries in an open 31-12 victory at...

rugby, women's rugby, women's sport

RFU allow transgender women to continue playing despite World Rugby ban

Authored by Mike Bovill

The Rugby Football Union will allow transgender women to continue playing community rugby after asking for more scientific evidence before imposing a global ban.

World Rugby announced last week it would prevent transgender women from competing in elite rugby, stating "safety and fairness" could not be assured following a three-stage review.

However, the RFU wants to find a...

Rugby team hugged together

Premier 15s review: ton-up Quins dominate the opening weekend

Authored by Mike Bovill

Most clubs would be happy with a positive points difference of 103 at the end of the season - Harlequins have that many points on the board after the opening weekend thanks to a three-figure mauling of DMP Durham Sharks at the Stoop.

The 2018 and 2019 runners-up looked sharp despite the late-notice start to a campaign, which included a number of rule changes including reducing the...

Rugby team hugged together

New season, new laws and a new sponsor for Premier 15s

Authored by Mike Bovill

The Rugby Football Union has confirmed the new Premier 15s season will start on Saturday 10 October after also announcing a new headline sponsor for the women's elite league.

The competition will be called the Allianz Premier 15s and the insurance company will also provide funding to grow girls and women's rugby in England.

Exeter Chiefs will make their debut away at...

women's rugby, women's sport, Bristol Bears Women, Rownita Marston

RFU funding cut adds to Premier 15s chaos

Authored by Mike Bovill

The Rugby Football Union has been forced to admit it is cutting funding for the 10 Premier 15s teams by 25 percent.

The reduction from £75,000 to £56,250 per side will put further financial pressure on clubs as they prepare for a new season which is still due to start in early October despite the fact fixtures are yet to be announced.

It was understood schedule details for...

Wales stars brought in to strengthen Exeter

Authored by Mark Stevens

With the new Premier 15s season edging ever closer, Exeter Chiefs Women’s Head Coach, Susie Appleby, is continuing her squad strengthening with four more new recruits added to the mix.

Welsh quartet Meg Davies, Ffion Lewis, Abbie Fleming and Niamh Terry are the latest recruits Appleby has added to her squad.

Lewis, Fleming and Terry have all previously represented Wales...

rugby, women's rugby, women's sport

No community or girls rugby until January 2021 at the earliest

Authored by Mike Bovill

Community rugby will remain in limbo for at least another three months after the Rugby Football Union confirmed competitive fixtures cannot take place until the new year at the earliest.

Clubs and schools are still allowed to have contact training and can play the approved Ready4Rugby non-contact version of the sport within their own groups.

"The decision has been made so we...

Rugby ball on pitch women's sport

Criticism of fixture clashes as final Six Nations schedule confirmed

Authored by Mike Bovill

Ireland and Italy will kick-off the remaining fixtures in this season's Six Nations championship after dates and kick-off times were finally confirmed. However, organisers have been criticised for placing matches too close together, forcing armchair fans to choose between games.

Italy's trip to Donnybrook will start at 1pm on Sunday 25 October, with Scotland entertaining France at...

Organisers plan Rugby World Cup isolation for teams in New Zealand

Authored by Mike Bovill

With one year to go, plans are already in place for teams to isolate ahead of the 2021 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Eleven sides plus the hosts will take part in the tournament, the first time the women's World Cup has left the northern hemisphere, beginning on 18 September.

Although exact details are yet to be finalised, organisers are expected to follow the template for teams...

women's sport

Exeter Chiefs turn to the States to strengthen squad ahead of Premier 15s debut

Authored by Mark Stevens

Susie Appleby’s squad plans for the new Exeter Chiefs Women’s side are continuing apace after she today confirmed the arrival of three more international names.

USA Women’s players Gabby Cantorna, Jennine Duncan and Kate Zackary have all accepted one-year contracts with the Chiefs and will arrive – pending visa approval – within the next few weeks to join the Devon club ahead of...